PROMPT #390 – “Take a sad song, and make it better.” ~ The Beatles, 1968

Playing off Walt’s lyrics prompt from last week, let’s take a sad song, and make it better.  Take something that is a downer (song, poem, book title, movie, etc.), and put a hopeful twist on it. 

MARIE’S GOOD

“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” ~Three Dog Night, 1968

ONE

They say one’s lonely
but that’s a tune we can change
if we are all one.

(c) Marie Elena Good, 2022


WALT’S BETTER

EVERMORE

I will send you a bouquet,
a flourish of words sung
to our shared melody.
Romance set to music,
words of love to placate the soul.
A lyric blooms, filling our room
with a fragrance meant
to seduce you, entice you
to love me, make you hate
to leave me. Believe me,
I will bring you flowers.
I will sing you love songs.
Evermore.


"You Don't Bring Me Flowers"  sung by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2022

97 thoughts on “PROMPT #390 – “Take a sad song, and make it better.” ~ The Beatles, 1968

  1. This has no ties to a song, but it was a line in my head.

    “I love the availability of the open skies.”

    THE OPEN SKIES

    I love the availability of the open skies.
    She is like an inamorata, who’s stravaging
    visage is in disguise.

    Her heart is aboundingly magnanimous,
    enough to happily contain the open sea.
    I’m wholly swallowed up—her arms wrapped around me.

    Her baby blue, mystical underpinnings
    only the heavens would know, yet a man
    who’s severed his ties with earth—still may go.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  2. No song attached. But there’s music in my head!

    HEAVENS FREE MUSIC

    Is there music, in the stubborn
    rhythm of the rain?
    Yes.

    There is music—and I feel,
    enjoy, its multitude of refrains.

    Who is the composer, then?
    Of these subtle psalms of storms?

    Well I don’t know,
    but I do know, hear them just the same.

    You see, there’s an epic concert
    of wonder dancing on my skin.

    A heavy splattering, a running down,
    a sliding down, time and again.

    Streaming heaven’s best free music.
    All you need to do is tune in.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  3. Hurt

    You drenched me in hurt…
    You took a beautiful child
    Twisting my soul
    Into an ugly form…
    With words
    That said I would
    Be only used
    And tossed
    Away like dirt.

    You tortured me
    With pain, but
    Your words
    Wrapped around me
    Like kudzu
    Blocking out the light
    Casting me
    Into hell.

    There came a man
    Who wore a crown of thorns.
    He crushed the vines of hate-
    With his sacrifice.
    He erased the words
    Written in my mind-
    That destroy my life
    And restored me
    With all the power
    That only love can give.

    He took the broken glass
    That hid the light,
    And made it into
    A stained glass window
    That refracted the light
    Ten thousand times
    And made my soul
    Dance with only joy
    And hope ruled.

    And I turn back
    Looking back
    At your sad
    Crippled
    Dark
    Damaged soul,
    And I know
    You never knew
    That joy
    While you lived.
    For all you
    Ever gave was hurt…
    And created
    Only an empire
    Of pain and filth.

    I gave joy,
    Kindness,
    And love…
    That beautiful
    Child you destroyed
    Became
    A woman
    Beautiful
    Within
    Herself.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 12, 2022

    Based on the song by Johnny Cash – “Hurt” because this version of the song is the most powerful one.

  4. After Adele’s “Someone Like You”

    Dreams could not save me.
    I needed someone to love.
    And then I found you.

  5. After R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”

    Life Happens

    When did it happen,
    that all my friends got old?
    Not all of them, but most.

    When was it, exactly,
    that running became impossible?
    And, recently, walking sort of hurts.

    When were the years
    that my parents died?
    I think I’ve now outlived them.

    When did we stop traveling,
    was it after that long September?
    Maybe we live now where we used to go.

    When was it, I wonder,
    that bananas lost their flavor?
    Though I think, lately, they found it.

    When was it, at which point,
    that I started looking back,
    trying to remember?

    To tell the truth,
    I can’t really worry
    about any of that.

    I can’t stew
    on the fact that
    I might be a little fat.

    See, all of that stuff
    is just lightweight,
    unimportant fluff.

    I’m here right now,
    happier than ever today,
    no matter what comes my way.

    Circumstances don’t compare
    to the pure Spiritual Truth
    of the why, what, when, who, where.

    Here’s a fact, the truth
    of how the universe
    does conspire…

    No matter what the mirror says,
    God’s gifts constantly
    lift me higher.

  6. I am not the Lady of Shallot

    A romantic tale told
    Ages before I was born…
    And haunted me
    For sometimes
    I was locked
    Away in a tower
    With no means
    To escape….

    But I am
    A crafty wench,
    And knew
    That I was not that
    Lady trapped
    Away safe
    From the world
    Looking at that world
    Through a mirror…

    No!
    I want to see
    The world
    Trapped inside
    A mirror…
    I want to see
    As much as
    I can see,
    And listen to tales
    Told by sailors
    Who have
    Traveled
    To foreign lands
    Where
    I have longed to see.

    I want
    To taste
    The sweetest fruits,
    And sip burning
    Smooth whiskey…
    I want look from
    Mountains down
    On lakes…
    That are deep
    And carry
    Hidden secrets…

    I am not
    That lady
    Who was locked
    Away from life….
    For I was born
    To dance through life
    And until
    I take my last breath
    I will dance
    To the tune
    I was given.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 12, 2022

    The Lady of Shallot by Tennyson just because I love Tennyson.

  7. I don’t know if I posted this one before, but it’s a rewrite I did during the pandemic for all those poor souls that had to hunker down in isolation. It’s to the tune of “The Sound of Silence”

    This Isolation

    Hello, Walmart, my old friend
    When will I get to shop again
    It seems this virus has me homebound
    But now no toilet paper can be found
    And my coffee supply is running dangerously low
    I don’t know
    About this isolation

    In restless dreams I see the worst
    Our government put party first
    While they’re all arguing in Congress
    We commoners are caught up in this mess
    While the media blames the wrong people for this pandemic
    They’re so sick
    And we’re in isolation

    I guess it’s time to take control
    I have the Internet to troll
    I’ll find someone that will deliver my stuff
    And hope it gets to me and lasts long enough
    WalMart.com and Amazon will still ship to us folks
    That’s no joke
    While we’re in isolation

    Then in the heat of day I see
    A FedEx truck approaching me
    The box has that familiar Amazon smile
    Now my TP supply will last a long while
    Then I see WalMart’s delivery truck rollin’ on down my street
    That’s really sweet
    Supplies for isolation

    And when this pandemic is done
    We’ll all get out and have some fun
    Without the handshakes, hugs or friendly high-fives
    We’ll wash our hands and thank God we’re still alive
    Then we’ll look back on the time that we never thought we could endure
    To be sure
    We survived isolation

    © 03/2020 Earl Parsons

  8. A few nights ago, this song, “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel, crossed my mind and I thought of my father who was a boxer in his youth when he was in Civilian Conservation Corp at Camp Pearson in Parr, SC… Da was learning to be a surveyor, and made extra money on Friday nights and weekends boxing. He was doing this so he could marry Ma… there is a Picture of all the men… Once when I was about seven, I was sleeping on the couch of our house in Waynesville, NC… it was my bed when Grannie was there. Our neighbor’s son was drunk and beating on our door. Da yelled at him to go to the next door because it was not his house. Finally, Da opened the door, and the hit him with one jab, and knocked him almost to the street. I remember Da watching fights and he would make jabs…

    The Boxer I loved….

    He had no hope of a future
    Except for the woman
    Who loved him.
    She believed in him
    When most
    Saw his drunkard father.

    He took a bus to study
    With men in the depression…
    He had learned to fight as a boy
    Because he had to fight his cousins
    When they called him names.
    He was wiry and muscled and
    Winning fights was no problem…

    He fought out his anger
    At the names he was called.
    He fought out the shame
    That he had shouldered
    Since he was five
    When his father.
    A coward,
    Killed an innocent man.
    Each blow he took
    Reminded him why he fought…

    He fought
    For the life he wanted.
    He fought
    For the woman he loved.
    He fought
    For the dreams he carried.

    The Boxer, I loved
    Was a gentle man
    Who wrote poetry,
    And played a harmonica,
    Who protected
    The dignity of
    Everyone he met
    As he listened to their stories,
    But
    I saw him watch a fight
    And saw that part of him
    That was the boxer…

    He fought to win,
    And as his sweat drenched
    Him -all that anger
    Poured from him,
    And his greatest win
    Was himself.

    I should know….
    I am the Boxer’s daughter
    And I am just like him.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 12, 2022

    This is for my father Joseph Archer Todd, Sr… one of the men that designed and built the Blue Ridge Parkway, among others… and he did design the Parkway thru the Everglades, and the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky National Park.

  9. MY KITTY
    (Apologies to Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson and “My Buddy” (1922))

    Time flies by when you look my way;
    you make this world feel happy and gay.
    My kitty, my kitty,
    no kitty quite like you.

    I don’t care if your litter box
    looks like the measles or chicken pox.
    My kitty, my kitty,
    I’ll scoop it clean for you.

    Purring through all the gay days;
    purring when something goes wrong;
    you have no concept of gray days
    so long as your food comes along.

    Still I would….

    miss your purr if it were not there;
    its sound is part of my very air.
    My kitty, my kitty,
    your buddy treasures you.

  10. Dreams of Men

    (inspired by Of Mice And Men ~ John Steinbeck)

    George vows to take care
    of Lennie as the pair moves
    from one migrant job to the next.
    Twice as rough to earn a living
    with the Depression on,
    and Lennie’s limited mental
    capacity. George focuses
    on earning enough to buy
    a farm, while Lennie dreams
    of tending rabbits. Though
    Lennie possesses great strength,
    he loves touching soft things.

    On Curley’s ranch, his wife
    is a temptress. George
    stresses the importance
    of keeping away to Lenny.
    Unfortunately, bad habits
    do not change, and Curley
    kicks his wife off the ranch.

    By then enough money is
    pooled together for a
    small farm. George, Lennie,
    and the ranch hands leave
    to live their dreams.

  11. “The Day Breaks/your mind aches” For No One, McCartney/Lennon, For No One

    The Morning Sings

    early light streams
    into my room
    I lie in bed
    and stir
    to the silence
    left by someone
    I once knew
    words once said
    and unmet promises
    find a resonance
    their own
    flattened notes
    of a sad piano
    the morning sings
    this song of
    nothingness
    long after
    I had everything
    or so I thought
    that I mattered
    but her eyes
    saw nothing
    when I sang
    a love song
    and now
    the lyrics
    of a sad
    Beatles ballad
    find new meanings
    and they linger
    in my weary mind
    as I go to a park
    where the sky bleeds
    and I gaze
    at a pathway
    where lovers walk
    hand-in-hand
    around a pond
    as if in a dream
    and a woman I meet
    stops and smiles at me

  12. The Dark Night of the Soul….

    Stillness…
    And the night
    Is so dark,
    And
    I am
    So alone….

    I whisper,
    “God,
    Are you
    There
    Somewhere
    Listening
    To me?”

    I heard
    No answer…

    The
    Stillness
    Grew
    Quieter.
    My heart
    Beat
    LOUDER.
    It was
    So dark
    And
    I was
    Afraid…

    Stillness
    Did not
    Whisper,
    And
    The air
    Was calm,
    And
    I was
    Surrounded
    By
    Tranquility.

    In my soul
    I breathed
    and with
    each breath
    I said His Name,
    “God,
    I feel
    You.”
    There
    Was the sound
    Of stars dancing.

    And
    In that
    Stillness
    It was
    No longer
    Night,
    And
    I was
    Not
    Alone.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 12, 2022

    ST John of the Cross said that in our darkest most alone moments- God is closest to us even though we feel like He is far away…His writings are still consider the best of Spanish Literature. His poems to Christ are filled with emotion and love.

  13. SUN AFTER THE STORM

    I hear you.
    Smiling, shining, setting—
    deep, over the hot horizon.

    You appear, calm
    after a violent rain. After
    the storm has waned and gone.

    Your eloquent rays
    doth sparkle amidst moistness,
    wetness, twinkling, and splashing away.

    As the earth is filled, satiated,
    with heavenly drink this day—you make me
    think and regard your sunny, sunny ways.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  14. The Sound of Silence

    You are the light
    in the dark of night
    You are my home
    when I am alone.
    You are the voice
    and I have a choice
    to hear you
    and love you
    and not be afraid
    of silence.

  15. Grass

    MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
    all that sweet green icing flowing down…
    Richard Harris

    seeping down into the zebra grass
    the Kentucky blue some stray fescue
    the whole thing sagging now
    distorted as a funhouse mirror
    until I’m wrenched sideways too
    thinking to have a thoughtful walk
    until this hot summer rain dimpling
    dry dust into dirty nickel scallops

    here I was thinking I had it all
    figured out in the way one might
    congratulate oneself on culinary success
    tossing the magazine with the recipe
    because it was all so simple and sure
    you almost had it memorized until

    this rain blurring the edges of memory
    the magazine a sodden heap in the hedge
    and you mid-path drenched even in your waterproof
    pavement steaming traffic sizzling singing
    past as you start to realize it’s all so elusive:
    trees crying park ponies huddling
    all of it streaming by in a thousand
    tiny rivulets gone lime green even
    your tears as you wipe your face
    wet for no good reason only to find

    your fingers are tiny trees and you
    are rooted in place no witch way
    about this melting flowing so that
    you glance around furtively for
    flying monkeys or a lurking lion
    but there’s just the icing swirling
    around your feet and the drops
    plinking onto the sweet greenness
    that is you tonight become grass.

  16. I’ve got clinical depression so I really don’t listen to sad songs, nor can I think of any. But this came to mind….

    THE BATTLE DANCE

    That eery sound a broken record—my life.
    That steady drumbeat of soldiers marching aloud into
    war. Whose every step draws nigh unto the battlefield.

    A broken record.
    An eery sound.
    Make it stop.

    One half, a familiar somber song, while the other,
    that goes along is a continual hymn of praise.

    A place where birds withhold their charming chant.
    Where their wings lay silent—and can’t fly. Won’t fly.
    But lie in wait with great anticipation.

    A place where trees fluently violin the breeze.
    Where powerful passing winds tease a laze.
    A place where sauntering praise liberates the butterfly.

    Where bumbling bumblebees, humming
    hummingbirds wonder why? Whose whipping wings ring a tone of cymbals that plead a cry.

    A heightened symphony.
    A dichotomy of praise and war.
    A surge of grievous notes.

    Transcendent doors.
    A battle dance of healing and brokenness.
    Tones of rich, as well as tones of poor.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  17. I’m not happy about it,
    No doubt about it!
    Even if I shout it
    I just go without it.
    I’ve tried and I’ve tried,
    And I’ve tried and I’ve tried.
    They say if you try sometime
    You get what you need.
    But I can’t get no satisfaction,
    And you can’t always get what you want.

    (C) Walter J Wojtanik. – 2022

    “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
    “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
    By The Rolling Stones

    • I don’t know the work of the Rolling Stones, and the only thing I can recall of the “satisfaction” song is a parody of it done by Steve Allen years ago, but I feel a beat in your lines. I appreciate Marie’s prompt, though, because it invites going to songwriters’ works, and to me, most of them (that I’ve looked up, anyway) are poets. A lot of cross-fertilization goes on between poets and songwriters, I suspect, and it interested me that Pete Seeger once wrote a book that includes the word, “robberies”:
      https://www.friendsjournal.org/pete-seeger-autobiography-review/

  18. It doesn’t really fit but hey I live in a mad house with three cats….

    Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty

    Except I live with three cats…
    Who are spoiled brats…
    One kitten who does not
    Know manners,
    But Tillie and Binkey
    Are teaching Zippy those…

    Tillie, fluffy Tuffy,
    Steals my chairs…
    In the morning
    I like to write,
    But there she is sleeping
    With one eye open
    And refusing to budge.
    In the evening
    She steals whatever
    Seat I have chosen,
    And claims it as hers.
    But my big girl rules
    Until I remind
    Her just who is queen here.

    Binkey is old, and sleeps
    More and more…
    And every night he takes over my bed,
    And somehow this cat has
    Managed to take half the bed.
    But he is old and purrs
    Me to sleep,
    And when I am sad,
    He looks
    At me
    With his
    Big sad eyes,
    And I melt.

    Zippy the kitten
    Was semi feral,
    And one day
    He moved into my house
    Without asking.
    It has become
    His race track,
    And he races it at least twice a day.
    He found chin rubs
    Send him to some
    Faraway land
    And he is lost
    In the touch of my hand.

    Binkey and Zippy have formed a truce.
    Tillie and Zippy have not
    But I suspect
    They like the chase to see who wins.
    Binkey joins in
    Because he likes a good fight…
    My old boy
    Is a street fighting scrapper.

    At least three times a day…
    I say, “Where are your manners?”

    I was watching a rerun
    The other day,
    Of a quirky bunch
    Of misfits,
    And the kitty song
    Popped up,
    And I laughed…
    Not at my house.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 16, 2022

    From the big bang series kitty song

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